While much of her tennis career has always been in second place shadow to Serena Williams. However, winning off the court is Maria Sharapova’s advantage over the world’s No. 1 ranked Serena Williams for women’s tennis. In fact, playing against Williams 19 times Sharapova has only been able to claim victory twice with the head to head record between the two tennis stars being 17 to 2 favorable toward Williams.
When Bloomberg Pursuits redesigned their new cover it would take someone with stunning looks and winning success appeal to luxury consumers to pull this off. So they selected none other than Maria Sharapova for the Summer 2015 cover of Bloomberg Pursuits. Sharapova is ranked No. 2 in the world of women’s tennis and when it comes to luxury brands she is an all around superstar.
Sharapova is the highest-paid female athlete in the world, according to Forbes data, and she’s topped the list for the past decade. She made $22 million from endorsements in 2014, including an eight-year, $70 million deal with Nike, a five-year contract with Evian, and deals with Cole Haan, Tag Heuer, and other brands. Williams, who also has a deal with Nike, as well as one with Gatorade, lags behind by more than $10 million each year.
Tennis Attracts Luxury Consumers
At the BNP Paribas Open, almost 90 percent of attendees are college graduates, and 70 percent of them have household incomes in excess of $100,000. At the US Open, the average household income of fans is $156,000. “Tennis, like horse riding, golf, or sailing, is associated by the wider public with glamour, wealth, and savoir-faire,” says Luca Solca, an analyst with Exane BNP Paribas who specializes in the luxury sector.
When Porsche hired Sharapova as their brand ambassador in order to attract more women buyers the luxury car industry had to take notice. The match was seemingly perfection with the stunning Sharapova behind the wheel driving an Porsche. She even openly admits to being a major fan long before the company hired her. “I love the feeling of being in a sports vehicle,” she says. “I know it’s quite rare for a woman, but it’s such a powerful feeling.”
While that statement we at MC have to express sounds a little scripted. Yet we can still believe she loves being behind the wheel of an Porsche and the power it gives her in life. She don’t have to necessarily remind us that Porsche is trying to sell luxury sports cars to women because we kind of figured that one out….
A very smart move was when Sharapova even sent out a tweet with a photo from behind the wheel of a Porsche (#girlstrip, #horsepower) to her 1.58 million followers. They got the hashtag content marketing keywords just right, great job.
According to Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse, who wrote a case study in 2010 about the building of Brand Sharapova, has found that a celebrity endorsement can boost a company’s bottom line by as much as 4 percent. With a brand like Nike, the Sharapova effect is relatively easy to measure: The company sells a line of Sharapova tennis apparel (designed by her), and the demand for those items is an indication of the value she creates. With watches and cars, it’s harder to gauge the impact. But Elberse says that luxury brands are deriving tangible benefits from sponsorship deals: “These companies wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t see some value.”
Is this the kind of stuff that can sell more luxury cars? Allow us at MC to answer that question and sum things up. The answer is YES when it comes to Sharapova driving an Porsche. Adding our credibility endorsement from MC also increases the emotional brand value for both Sharapova and Porsche. A true brand ambassador must always be a brand enthusiast. A luxury car is a sport when it comes to purchases and because Sharapova is a tennis star she represents lifestyle for luxury brands.
#Luxury #LuxuryCars #LuxuryPRMedia